PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Richard Ross spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday after resigning as Philadelphia police commissioner. Ross stepped down as the city’s top cop following his alleged failure to address sexual harassment claims.

Ross told reporters that he wasn’t forced to resign but is “retiring on his own volition.”

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“Despite what some people think, I am leaving on my own volition. I love this department too much to allow distractions like this, so we’ll move on and I don’t know what else is in store but we’ll move on,” Ross said.

Ross says it was best for him to “move along” so he wouldn’t be a distraction to the department.

“I just thought for the greater good of all citizens of Philadelphia, fine police officers here and the mayor that it would be better if I just move along given everything else that we have to contend with, this issue would be a distraction, that this department and city don’t need. My love for this organization, my love for this city has compelled me to make a decision that’s bigger than me. It’s with great regret that I leave something that I enjoy, but we’ve been through a lot in the last three-and-a-half years,” Ross said.

Sources tell CBS3 that Ross had received allegations from at least two women regarding gender and race discrimination and the women were disappointed at how the allegations were handled.

A federal civil lawsuit obtained by CBS3 names Ross as a defendant, stating that he was told about the sexual harassment allegations but did nothing to stop the behavior.

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The lawsuit, filed by two Philadelphia police officers last week, claims both women were sexually harassed and discriminated against and their reports to superiors — including Ross — went without resolve.

Cpl. Audra McCowan, one of the plaintiffs, says she texted and called Ross in February to inform him of a male officer who was sexually harassed her. The lawsuit alleges Ross declined to act on her report, texting back, “So why don’t you just order his dumb ass to go sit down and get out of your face ‘Officer.'”

McCowan texted back, “Think about how you would feel if it was your daughter. Would it matter if it was someone that works for her or not? If she told the person to repeatedly stop, that doesn’t matter?”

During the conversations, Ross allegedly stated that he was going to “school” McCowan on sexual harassment and implied that he was upset with her and would not act on her complaints in retribution for breaking off an affair she and Ross had from 2009 to 2011, according to the lawsuit.

Patrol Officer Jennifer Allen was also listed as a plaintiff in the suit. She claims she was sexually harassed and groped by a superior on multiple occasions.

The lawsuit also states that Allen, while working at the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center after returning from maternity leave, had her breast milk stolen from a refrigerator in the cafeteria.

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Allen says she notified a superior, who failed to take action, and later made jokes about her milk being stolen and made comments about “wanting chocolate milk” or “needing milk.”

Ross was not named in the allegations.

Ross told reporters that he takes “serious umbrage” with the issue that he targeted and sought retribution against somebody.

“The only thing that I will tell you is, that in 55 years of life, and 30 years of law enforcement, God and everybody else who knows me, knows I have never targeted a person, I have never sought retribution on a person, personally or professionally, and so I take serious umbrage with that part of this issue as well as others,” the former commissioner said.

Ross added that the department will be under good leadership with Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter and that he hopes she gets the job permanently.

Ross served as commissioner since January 2016 before stepping down.